Feast to your heart's content at this traditional Italian dinner available at many of Philadelphia's best Italian restaurants, such as Old City's Ristorante Panorama. (Photo courtesy Ristorante Panorama)
The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a strong Italian tradition stemming from the Catholic faith, an event that counts down to the arrival of Jesus at midnight on Christmas Day.
Traditionally, the feast happens on Christmas Eve, but now has spread to the days leading up to the night before Christmas as well.
Many area restaurants are offering the seafood feast to customers from now until Christmas Eve. And everyone is invited to take part, regardless of faith.
If you’re looking to celebrate the holidays with this scrumptious and age-old tradition, check out our roundup, below. And for our picks for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner at Philadelphia restaurants, click here.
• Amis: Take your place at the table for Amis’s annual pre-Christmas dinner. The Vetri Family welcomes you to share in this festive Italian-American celebration, when they serve a family-style, four-course meal featuring the seven fish. It’s $75 per person, served on December 23, 4-11 p.m.
• Sbraga: Top Chef Kevin Sbraga will riff on the Italian holiday feast at his eponymous restaurant’s chef’s counter. From December 17 through 27, dine on this six-course Feast of the Seven Fishes for $75 per person. Pony up $50 more for the wine pairing.
• Ristorante Panorama: Head out to Ristorante Panorama in Old City for a tasty Feast of the Fishes dinner now through December 23. Enjoy a four-course chef’s tasting menu which incorporates seven yummy fishes for $45, and for an additional $30 partake in wine pairings with each course. The full menu is available here (PDF).
• Davio’s: Davio’s is presenting a five-course Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner on December 24 from 5-11 p.m. Treat your taste buds to this delicious spread consisting of lobster bisque, sea scallops, crab risotto, mussels and more. The meal costs $75 per person.
• Bridget Foy’s: Head to South Street for Bridget Foy’s Feast of the Seven Fishes on December 24. You’ll get six courses for $45, with dishes including Saffron Mussel Soup, Crispy Anchovy Salad, Mini Oyster Pot Pie and Pan Seared Striped Bass.
• Verdad: Take your seven fishes Latin style at Bryn Mawr’s Verdad Restaurant & Tequila Bar, as Chef Nick Farina has designed a special paella. Any time through Christmas Eve, enjoy this seafood feast, good for four, for just $62.
• Le Castagne: Le Castagne is preparing a $75 feast to be served now through Christmas Eve. Enjoy a wide range of fish prepared in a variety of ways. From fish stew to stuffed calamari, this Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner is one not to miss. Did we mention it includes dessert too? Yum!
• Noir’s 12 Days of Fishmas: Join Chef Marco DeCotiis as he prepares a unique Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner at this East Passyunk resto. Warm up your December night with a bowl of Noir’s Bouillabaisse made with seven kinds of delectable seafood. Chef DeCotiis pulls inspiration from his Canadian roots to create the dish, and uses the freshest fish from the Italian market. Grab this tasty bowl of soup from December 18-30, except on Christmas day when the restaurant is closed.
• Avalon Restaurant & Avalon Pasta Bistro: Both Avalon Restaurant and Avalon Pasta Bistro, located in West Chester and Downingtown, respectively, are serving up fish feasts for customers. Both will be offering up a five-course meal from December 21-24, $45 per person and $15 for children 12 and under. Check out the full menu (PDF).
• Trax Restaurant & Cafe: Ambler’s Trax Restaurant & Cafe is hosting a four-course seafood dinner with seven (if not more) types of seafood. The feast will run from December 18-23 and will provide guests with seasonally appropriate, fresh fish. The meal will end with a delicious dessert either a chocolate mousse with cognac or a poached pear with candied wine sauce.